"DE JA II"
For the second time in three seasons, the Bobcats have their postseason dreams crushed on the turf of arch rivals Hilton Head Island High School. The Seahawks route Bluffton 55-21 Friday night in the fourth installment of the Bridge Bowl. The loss - coupled with a Battery Creek blowout of Lake Marion - leaves the Bobcats as the odd man out of the Class 3A Lower State playoffs.
Bluffton (3-7, 2-3 Region 8-3A) fell victim to the exact same scenario two seasons ago, finishing in the three-way tie for the final two Region 8-3A playoff spots. Dooming the Bobcats was a flawed tiebreaker system that rewarded Battery Creek (a team Bluffton beat) the region's third spot based on "region points allowed" this season. From there, the whole scenario resets to head-to-head matchups for the fourth spot. The Bobcats lost to Lake Marion in September's region-opener on a missed last-second field goal attempt.
At least that's the story being fed to Bluffton at this moment. By the morning, everything could change.
As of right now, however, the season is over for the Bobcats.
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Bad injuries, questionable officiating and pourous run-defense mark Bluffton's attempt to overtake region-leader North Charleston.
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Cougars dash Bluffton's Region 8-3A title hopes Friday night in the Holy City. Zach Frazier scores twice and Desmond Jenkins added a touchdown and 2-point conversion, but it's not enough to hold off region champ North Charleston.
above, left, Alfonza Powell and Steven Sczcepanik celebrate Powell's goal-line catch late in the second quarter of Friday's game.
at 10:51 PM
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Bluffton defensive back Jimmy Tillman suffered a serious neck injury Friday night in North Charleston after attempting to make a stop in the end zone on a Cougar touchdown. The junior was taken to the hospital after lying prone on the turf for nearly 25-minutes. The move was purely precautionary. Tillman was able to leave the hospital before the game's end and returned home safely. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery and no lasting affects.
at 10:43 PM
Forgive the Bobcats if they're feeling a bit snake bitten these days. For the second time since region play began four weeks ago, Bluffton believes they are the victim of shoddy officiating. The men in stripes denied the Bobcats their final timeout of the first half Friday night with their offense on the North Charleston 4-yard line and four seconds to play. Trailing 22-7 at the time, the Bobcats were on the verge of swinging the momentum in their favor. The refs argued that Bluffton used up their allotted timeouts, but would not specify when. The general consenus is the Bobcats were dinged with a T.O. after defensive back Jimmy Tillman was badly hurt (25-minute game delay) early in the second quarter. Above, the Bobcat faithful that traveled 100-miles north to Charleston give the refs an earful during halftime - moments after the alleged botched call.
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Lewis Black makes a serious run for the second consecutive week, but it's not enough to overcome teammate Zach Frazier. The senior rushed for 215 yards and scored three times in the Bobcats' 22-21 win over Battery Creek to earn this week's Game Ball honors.
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"U guys know I love u like sons. Win this one for urselves & leave no doubt. Each of u is a winner on and off the field. Now smash BC n the mouth."
- George Haslam's text to the Bobcats prior to Friday night's game against Battery Creek. The BHS Strength & Conditioning coach suffered a heart attack earlier this week and is now recovering at home. And, yes, he vows to return to defend his world weight-lifting record.
at 6:10 PM
"It felt like a championship."
Safety Ryan Combs on the Bobcats' 22-21 win over Battery Creek High School Friday in Bluffton.
The Bobcats' defense used 3 second-half interceptions (one of them by Combs) and Zachary Frazier added two late touchdowns as Bluffton rallied for their third consecutive fourth-quarter comeback.
at 2:00 AM
At halftime, Zach Frazier was crowned homecoming king. By the end of the game, he and the Bobcats celebrated like royalty after picking up their first region win, 21-14, Friday night at home against R.B. Stall High School in overtime.
above: head coach Jeremy West gets an ice bath.
at 10:58 AM
Zach Frazier put the crown on an evening that saw him dubbed Homecoming King by converting a crucial two-point attempt to send Friday night's tilt against R.B. Stall High School into overtime.
Desmond Jenkins scored his third touchdown of the night for the Bobcats (2-5, 1-1 Region 8-3A) in overtime as Bluffton downed the Warriors 21-14.
at 1:41 AM
"BLUFFTON UP-ENDED IN SANTEE"
Jordan Rodriguez' kick sails right at the buzzer as Bobcats (1-4, 0-1 Region 8-3A) mount a frenzied comeback against Lake Marion High School. Timmy Smith rushes for two touchdowns (71, 9 yards) and collects 199 yards on the ground, but it's not enought. The Gators eke by Bluffton 26-25 in a shootout in Santee.
at 10:35 PM
Region 8-3A play begins tonight for Bluffton when the Bobcats (1-4) head north to Santee to face Lake Marion High School. The Gators (1-4) and Bobcats have split wins the last two years - each team winning on the road.
above: Timmy Smith breaks a run earlier this season.
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